by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
The John Locke Foundation continues its coverage of the way the Coronavirus outbreak is affecting North Carolina this week in the latest episode of the “HeadLocke” podcast. In this week’s episode, host Mitch Kokai has two guests from the John Locke Foundation itself, CEO Amy Cooke, and Director of Education Studies, Dr. Terry Stoops.
Cooke discusses the importance of North Carolina-specific research during an emergency, like the Coronavirus pandemic. Cooke says:
Legislators have to make decisions about so many things… they may have hundreds of bills to consider in any given year. That is why an organization like the John Locke Foundation is so important…
As lawmakers were trying to grapple with this [COVID-19], the researchers here went to work immediately. They went to work over the weekend and had policy solutions for lawmakers that Monday.
The John Locke Foundation’s nearly 30 years of research and experience in crafting timely policy recommendations make it uniquely suited to responding promptly with policy solutions to address the Coronavirus outbreak. The Locke Foundation quickly developed and distributed a package of five research briefs on the week of March 16. These pieces have helped guide state leaders during this fast-paced and ever-evolving crisis.
One such policy area where things have changed immensely is K-12 education. Following Cooke’s remarks, Kokai introduces an interview with Dr. Terry Stoops on the unfolding education situation in North Carolina. Dr. Stoops said:
[The situation] is complicated because some schools are open and providing meal service, but for the most part, things have gone online…
It is very uneven. As a parent, I can tell you there are some teachers who are on the ball and have assignments in the students’ hands, and there are some teachers have not sent the kids a thing… The inconsistencies are not just county to county, they are classroom to classroom.
There is a huge amount of variation across the state in what students are being required to do right now and what schools are expecting of them.